Nettesheim’s passing leads No. 4 Cate over No. 3 Thacher

Cate quarterback Mike Nettesheim threw four touchdown passes in the second quarter to build a big lead, and the Rams held off long-time rival Thacher, 38-26, in a battle of CIF top-5 teams in eight-man football on Saturday at Cate.

Dean Smith hauled in two scoring passes and Keller Mochel and Isaiah Washington caught one each from Nettesheim for the fourth-ranked Rams. Smith’s second TD catch came as the halftime siren sounded.

Washington scored three touchdowns in the game. He had a 2-yard run in the first quarter, caught a 31-yard screen pass in the second and ran 5 yards for a score in the third quarter.

No. 3 Thacher scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

The Cate defense pressured Thacher all game long. Mochel was in the backfield throughout the afternoon and Ajibola Bodunrin  Henry Dawson and Musa Hakim caused tons of havoc for the Toads, said assistant coach David Soto.

“Both teams played incredibly hard, which is expected in a rivalry game,” Soto said. “I’m so proud of our players, particularly our seniors, who showed some great leadership even when times were tough. This is a big win for us and we hope to build off this as we push toward the second half of our season.”